SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM"
3177/200841 Private WILLIAM DOWEY.
4th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment.
Killed in action, aged 20, on the 23rd April 1917.
Born at Skelton in Cleveland. Enlisted at Boosbeck, N Yorks.
Son of Mary Lena and the late Joseph Dowey
of 13, Prospect Place, Skelton-in-Cleveland, Yorks.
1901. William, aged 4, was living at 13 Prospect Place and had been born in Skelton.
His father, Joseph, age 26, also born in Skelton, was an Ironstone miner below ground.
William's mother, Lena, age 26, came from South Bank, N Yorks. She had 5 children and all still living in 1911.
William had two sisters, Annie 6 and Hilda 1.
1911 census. The family are living at 13 Prospect Place, Skelton. William is 14 and left school, but not yet working.
The family have two additions, Alice, age 8 and Roy, age 5.
They still have room for a 67 year old Boarder, who works as a Labourer in the Ironstone Mines.
By the time the Commonwealth War Graves recorded his death, William's father had died.
The 4th Yorks Battalion were part of the 150th Brigade, 50th (Northumbrian) Division.
William's Medal Card shows the he was not awarded the 1914/1915 Star. The date in 1916 or later when he joined the 4th Battalion in France is not known.
In April 1917 they took part in the offensive to the East of Arras and many men were killed and wounded.
The British launched a large scale attack at Arras in support of a larger plan by the French.
It was against the formidable Hindenberg line to which the Germans had made a strategic withdrawal.
The struggle continued on until May in several phases, opening with the Battle of Vimy and then the three Battles of the Scarpe (a river in that region).
General Douglas Haig, later wrote that the offensive at Arras was to divert the Germans, while the French attacked further South on the Chemin des Dames. His main objective was to advance at Ypres in the offensive that he would launch in July.
Full details based on the 4th Yorks War Diary can be read starting here.
William is commemorated on the Arras memorial which bears the names of 35,000 men who died in this area and have no known grave.